The scale of the crisis facing the journalism industry requires a radical and dramatic response: a massive public investment in local news.
“The last recession was brutal for newspapers and local news,” wrote DeRienzo, who at the time was the director for a nonprofit organization that supported local online news outlets. “The next one could be an extinction-level event.”
The next one is here now, thanks to the economic crunch brought about by the novel coronavirus outbreak. The sudden shock has clobbered an industry that had already lost nearly 30,000 jobs ― roughly a quarter of its reporters ― over the last decade, as its advertising-based revenue model proved anachronistic in the age of the internet. City- and statewide lockdowns have further reduced revenues, even as readership soars, so each day now brings news of another round of layoffs, furloughs or pay cuts from somewhere in the beleaguered industry.
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